In the first meeting of its kind, the group of Italian entrepreneurs was invited to Russia to meet with the President in order to discuss the outlook for investment and financial cooperation between the two countries. Mr Putin had met earlier with members of the Italian business community during his visits to Italy in 2000 and 2003.
Mr Putin said that the Russian-Italian business partnership is growing stronger regardless of domestic political events in both countries. In 2007, bilateral trade reached a record high of $36 billion, the President said. He stressed that Italy was and still is one of Russia’s main trade and economic partners in Europe.
The event was organised as part of the work of the Russian-Italian Civil Society Dialogue Forum.
The Italian business delegation’s members included Luisa Todini, president of construction group Todini Finanziaria and co-chair of the Russian-Italian Civil Society Dialogue Forum, the heads of energy companies Eni and Enel, the heads of Finmeccanica, an Italian industrial group operating globally in the aerospace, defence and security sectors, and representatives of Indesit, Ferrero International and other Italian companies.